Designing a Vibrant Four-Season Public Realm
presented by Sasaki

Designing a Vibrant Four-Season Public Realm
presented by Sasaki

We all know that the Denver metro area is one of the fastest growing places in the country with roughly a million new people calling this place home in the past 20 years. This new pressure has drastically transformed the city. In the dense inner city neighborhoods of Denver, this is causing paradigm shifts in the design and planning issues that must be addressed. One of the key components to ensuring the city remains attractive for future generations while supporting the current boom is a more thoughtful design of the public realm — parks, plazas, streets, and greenways.

While Denver has always been known for its great trails and green spaces, this new, denser Denver must put a greater emphasis on designing a full network of public spaces to support a robust public life for all people throughout all seasons and times of day. This means thinking about our streets as extensions of our homes, our parks as our backyards, and the various interstitial spaces like alleys, corner plazas, or streetside cafes as an essential part of everyday life.

These issues and the planning and design work they necessitate are certainly applicable to the entire metro area, but they are playing out faster than ever in Denver’s River North (RiNo) neighborhood, which has undergone one of the city’s most visible transformations in the past decade.

A roundtable discussion featuring real estate developer FORMATIVE; the projects director for the RINO Arts District; and two designers from global design firm, Sasaki, will discuss ways in which their work weaves together culture and environment to create a new public realm that supports daily life.

Specifically they will discuss:

  • How public space is a differentiator in private real estate development

  • How specific cultural influences like the outdoor attitude or street art greatly influence design.

  • The role that nonprofits can play in setting direction for public realm at the district level

  • Project examples from around RiNo and how events in 2020 have impacted the projects

  • Global and national trends that Denver should be thinking about moving forward

  • How thinking around the public realm has and should change to support daily urban life in a more holistic way

John Deffenbaugh – RiNo Art District, Project Director
Anna Cawrse, ASLA, PLA – Landscape Architect, Sasaki, Denver Office Director
Josh Marino – Battery621, INDUSTRY
Joshua Brooks, ASLA, PLA – Urban Designer and Landscape Architect, Sasaki, Denver Office Director
Sean Campbell – Founder, FORMATIV